Topicals are tough to crack, trying to produce ads that are both sticky, relate to a news story/date and align with a brand’s message. However, after many meetings with Marc and many attempts, I feel like I am getting better and faster at producing them. I feel that one of the best ways to learn and improve is to teach someone else, so over the weekend I attempted to teach my father how to create topical ads.
Here is how Kev found it,
‘So I looked at the success factors and thought about those first. At this point, it didn’t look too daunting!’ I now find that sticky testing is one of the most important parts of making a topical, as it reveals numerically how good an ad is if it’s less than 40… TO THE BIN.
‘And then I thought about the new stories around at the moment, and looked them up on BBC News, and other sites, when I realised there wasn’t much happening. I looked at the week’s news, and nothing really looked that exciting. Anyway, I wrote down things such as Nicola Sturgeon, standing down as Scottish leader and the new leadership election. Ken Bruce, leaving the BBC too early because he’s been pushed out (allegedly). Strikes, including doctors, nurses, train, drivers, et cetera. Inflation. Nigerian elections. Raquel Welch sadly passed away this week. Empty supermarket shelves, no tomatoes because of the bad weather in Spain. And Brexit and the Northern Ireland agreement.’ I do find calendar dates easier to work with, rather than news, as it avoids becoming newsjacking.
‘I tried to think about some of the links that I could make between the new stories and some products. I was really focusing on the empty supermarket shelves and the lack of tomatoes, which seems to be something I could work with, but in the end, it all seemed too obvious. However, I quite like the idea of advertising IMDb with a link to Rotten Tomatoes. I thought about magazine subscriptions which we could advertise because people won’t be sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms due to the strikes. I wondered also about advertising BUPA again because of the Dr strike, but that was so obvious it wasn’t going to work. I was trying to connect to the Scottish elections and their culture by maybe advertising natural yoghurt, with a phrase something like don’t mess with our culture. I wondered about advertising the weather channel and again linking that to the empty shelves, with the idea that if the Spanish had known about the bad weather, then there may not be a tomato shortage in the UK. I thought about advertising Go Compare with the Scottish leadership election, but again that was far too obvious. I also thought about Ken Bruce being suddenly available and booking a holiday with lastminute.com.’
My favourite of my dad’s ideas was one based on Nicola Sturgeon having more time on her hands, I maybe would have had her advertising watches, but my dad liked the idea of her having the time to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.
‘So, I liked the IMDb versus Rotten Tomatoes, the Bird’s custard, Guinness, and lastminute.com with Ken Bruce.’ The Bird’s custard thing is one of the maddest ideas I have heard, and I am still trying to understand what Kev was talking about, here is the text I received, ‘World book day is coming up so how about something to do with The Birds, the book by Daphne Du Maurier. And Bird’s custard. Why have ‘I scream’ when you can have Bird’s Custard?’ I still don’t understand what he was talking about.
‘Overall, this was really difficult, but with some guidance at least produced a couple of some things?’ For his first attempt, I think my dad did really well and I’m very proud of him, who knows in a couple of months he could go viral.